Moving 101 or How to Move Without Losing Your Mind

I’ve moved 32 times since I first left home. It’s mind boggling to me that I moved that many times but I have moving down to a fine science now. I once had to pack an entire house and move to the other side of the country in less than 20 days. I did it easily!

Moving is stressful and the more organized you are, the easier it becomes.  Get the whole family involved or not - only you know whether this will help you or hinder you.  Take it easy and start working on it the moment you know you're moving - you'll be glad you started early.

Here are 10 tips to help you get organized, pack and manage easily once you get into your new place.

1 – Hire a reputable mover. Yes, you can get cheaper rates from Joe Mover, but the big companies actually train their employees on how to pack a truck efficiently and correctly so that your things aren’t smashed to smithereens when they get to your new home. Get references from friends, family or co-workers. You will not want to deal with claims and broken items when you’re dealing with the stress of settling in. Oh and Joe Mover doesn’t make claims easy either…

2 – Invest in real moving boxes. Liquor store boxes are great for glasses and vases, but the big boxes actually take less time to pack and unpack. They’re fabulous for linens, pillows, clothes and bulky items. Wardrobe boxes are fabulous. They will make your life so much easier. You can pack all the closets up immediately and have easy access to your clothes before AND after your move. Get the movers picture boxes and separate your pictures with cardboard. The frames will rub against each other during the move and get scratched up if you don’t. Use big boxes for your lampshades, too. You don’t want them to be dented and crushed.  If you want to save money, check Craig's List - lots of folks give the boxes away after they've moved.

3 – Pack your boxes according to room. Put all your master bedroom stuff together, all the kitchen stuff together, all the bathroom stuff – ok you get the picture.

4 – Label, label, label! Honestly, unless you’re superwoman (or superman) you will not be unpacking every box during your first few days at the new place. Use sharpies and write on the sides of the boxes. The boxes will likely be stacked so that you can’t read the tops. Label them with which room each box is for and be specific about what’s in them. List the major items contained. Honestly, you will be glad you did this.

5 – Buy real packing tape, masking tape doesn’t cut it. You don’t want boxes breaking open mid-move.

6 – Don’t wait until the last few days to pack. Start packing as soon as you know you’re moving. Take a little time and decide what items you really need to be using and start packing the rest. It’s surprising how much you can actually do without.

7 – Those items that you kept unpacked until the end should be packed together and labeled OPEN FIRST. When you’ve finished packing them, count the number of boxes and then label them 1 of 6, 2 of 6, 3 of 6 (or however many you’ve got). These are the boxes that you really want to get into the moment you arrive in your new digs.

8 – Packing materials are key. Invest in packing paper and learn how to use it properly for fragile items. You can make good use of your towels as well by wrapping them around the larger fragile items or by burying fragile stuff in with your towels, sheets and blankets.

9 – Make a list of all the things you need to do when you arrive at your new home and the addresses, phone numbers or websites to access. Include services that need connecting; address changes you need to make (driver’s licences, insurance, credit cards) and don’t forget to set up mail forwarding at the Post Office. You may not get much by snail mail anymore, but it’s a good precaution to take anyway.

10 – Before you move, go online to find schools, hospitals or medical clinics, bank branches, grocery stores, convenience stores, etc. Print off a map and write the locations on it for easy reference.

Take a deep breath and tell yourself this move will be easy peasy – and it will. The more organized you are, the less stress you’ll feel and your move will be a breeze.

Happy packing!

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!


  1. Great moving tips! Fortunately for me, I have lived in the same house for 26 years....where did the years go? If ever I move, I will be using your tips.


  2. These are so helpful - and I just might be needing them in the kinda near future!! Thanks, Anne

  3. Helpful tips Anne. I have to agree using real moving boxes is the way to go and using the right packing material is helpful too. I am still trying to wrap my brain around 32 times!


  4. What? 32 times! Maybe I just need you to come over next time I move!!

  5. Great tips, Anne! 32x!!!

    I am familiar with this because I moved a lot as a child and as an adult. But my youngest sister is quite a bit younger and she hardly ever moved. She had no clue how to pack and neither did the people that helped her, and she broke many pieces of her china. I live thousands of miles away from her so there was no way I could of helped her.

  6. Wow..I thought we have moved a lot...32 times...that is incredible Anne...great are you thinking of moving again?..nah..

  7. Wow! That is a ton! We have been so fortunate to have movers the last two times paid for by my husband's employer (relocation). Such a LUXURY! Unpacking is still quite a task tho- but I enjoy moving for the opportunity to purge! Did you move communities too or just houses?

  8. Those are all great tips, but hopefully I will only move one more time before my life is over. I have probably moved 31 times since I left home. No wonder I hate moving!

  9. Wow! I thought I had travelin bones, moving at 27 times in my adult life!! Great tips for sure!

  10. 32 times, YIKES!

    My daughter is moving next week. The company is paying for the move, but I am sending this to her for ideas.

  11. Wow, you are an expert for sure. I've moved 12 times in my lifetime and I have had quite enough of it. But you've given some great tips. Being organized and hiring movers is definitely the key.

  12. Great tips and I believe they work. I've moved close to 20 times and currently been in our home for 15 years (the longest of any place). We may be looking to move at some point in the near future. These tips are wonderful reminders that moving can be organized and FUN! Thanks Anne!

  13. Wow you have moved allot! Great tips Anne! Although I hope to stay in our home for many years yet :-)

  14. Nice blog! But I don't think so buying boxes to pack item's boxes is a good idea. Its better to use the store boxes & to rent the boxes from the grocery or any other shops. It will help to decrease the moving cost.

  15. Great tips! I've only moved once...from my parents' house to mine and they're both in the same neighborhood so needless to say my packing/moving strategy was kind of different, but if I ever really move, I know where to get some help. :-)


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